New Criticals

The anonymous woman who reported these acts of police brutality was one of 300 British suffragists peacefully marching before the House of Commons on November 18, 1910. Journalist Henry Noel Brailsford and Dr. Jessie Murray took 135 statements from activists and eyewitnesses describing how police beat the suffragists with batons, punched, kicked, dragged, choked, stripped, and sexually assaulted them. One officer hurled a woman at a lamppost, loosening two of her teeth. Brailsford and Murray wrote:

“The action of which the most frequent complaint is made is variously described as twisting round, pinching, screwing, nipping, or wringing the breast. This was often done in the most public way so as to inflict the most humiliation…The language used by some of the police while performing this action proves that it was consciously sensual.”

At least two women died because of this six-hour campaign of police brutality, now known as Black Friday.